Fear of the Dark

Jonah Goldberg still churns out a newsletter, of sorts, that National Review distributes via the miracle of the Internet. I’m not a subscriber, but they post it on their site regularly for some reason. I don’t read Jonah Goldberg very much, but I don’t have anything against him. It just feels like he has said everything he has to say as a writer. Whenever I read one of his columns these days it just feels like I read it a few times already.

That’s not unusual. A lot of opinion writers exhaust their supply of insights, gags and gimmicks within a few years. The exceptions are those who have very fertile minds and a high degree of curiosity. Christopher Hitchens was an example of someone who never stopped fine tuning his worldview so he kept his work interesting, even though I rarely agreed with him.

Anyway, his column starts with the stock gags he has been doing for a long time, but the point of it is to solve the puzzle as to why the Left keeps denying the obvious about Islam. After meandering around a bit, he gets to this:

And that is why, as I argue in my column today, Barack Obama is so eager to respond to the Paris attacks with a rhetorical fusillade against Republican bigotry. It is a ploy as brilliant as it is disgustingly cynical. Obama is a co-author of this refugee crisis. As Walter Russell Mead writes, “No one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama.” Somewhere deep inside Obama’s supposedly Niebuhrian conscience even he must suspect there is some truth to this. And even if his denial is total, he must understand that a great many historians will side with Mead in this appraisal.

One of my themes here is that the Professional Right is not all that interested in understanding the motivations of the Left. They much prefer to be the foil as the pay is better and the work is easier. Instead of digging deeper, the preferred response is to just assume the Left is playing politics, dodging responsibility or scoring points for the party. In this case, Jonah just assumes Barry both agrees that the refugee situation is a disaster and that he knows he is largely responsible for it.

There’s no evidence of this and there’s plenty of evidence that Obama thinks the refugee situation is a pretty good result. Further, he does not seem all that concerned about the politics of it. You can tell when a politician is worried about how something looks by watching him change his position, often denying he was ever on the other side of the issue. None of that is happening with Obama.

The general consensus from people who have read his two autobiographies and studied his life is that Obama was a Muslim growing up. His church in Chicago was nominally Christian, but was modeled on a mosque. Within Islam there’s a tradition of street corner Imams building a following, which is what Reverend Wright did in Chicago, but waving the Christian Bible around instead of the Koran. Reverend Al is another obvious example. Holy man without portfolio is common in Islam, too.

That’s not to say he is a Muslim. I don’t think Obama is very religious. It’s just that when he thinks of religion, he thinks of what he knows and that’s the street corner Islam of his youth. Therefore he is sympathetic to Muslims in the same way normal Americans would be sympathetic to Christians fleeing the ISIS lunatics. The truth is, most Americans would welcome Syrian Christians. Obama’s instincts are 180 degree out of phase with normal Americans.

None of this is groundbreaking. As I said, this is the consensus of people who have read his books and studied his life. People who are his supporters often point to his exotic foreignness as the primary attraction. Obama’s critique of America is from the outside and his desire to fundamentally transform the country is from the perspective of an outsider, particularly an outsider who is emotionally outside the traditions of the West.

You never hear anyone in the professional Right point this out. It’s as if they fear it. If you go on Fox and talk about Obama’s own words in his autobiographies, you get branded an extremist loon. The only people referencing Obama’s writing in their columns are hate-thinkers like John Derbyshire, who may be one of the few people to read Obama’s books.

The reason for this studied avoidance of the obvious by the Professional Right is fear. When Obama was elected, the great fear of Republicans and their cheerleaders in the conservative media was that Obama would be accommodating to them. They would have no choice but to go along and, in effect, sign off on his proposals. The game would be up and it would no longer be possible to carry on like there is substantive fight over public policy.

Obama turned out to be a petty and venal guy once in office so everyone could relax and pretend there’s a real fight going in Washington. Obama seems to fine with it and may even enjoy it. He wins all the fights so I suppose he should embrace this dynamic. The GOP huffs and puffs. The “right-wing attack machine” goes into high gear. Then, Obama wins and he feels like a hero. Everybody is happy.

This post has already been linked to 1896 times!

Leave a Reply

11 Comments on "Fear of the Dark"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Obama has a religion. It’s called Marxism.


A British intellectual that the name I forgot tought that Freudianism and Marxism are continuations of the “judeo-Christian” tradition for the modern era.

Buckaroo Banzai

That “British Intellectual” is a retard, then. Neither Marx nor Freud have the remotest connection to anything even vaguely resembling Christian ideas. Jewish, on the other hand– you could at least make the beginnings of a case, considering they were both Jews.

Christopher S. Johns
I have my own pet theories on 0bama and Islam, which I won’t bore you with except to conjecture here that the reason that young Barry was sent back to Hawaii by his mother was that young Barry had started to spend a good deal of time down at the local mosque and his mother wasn’t particularly thrilled with that. So it was back to Hawaii with Gran, Gramps and Frank Marshall Davis (btw – how many VPs of banks, like Barry’s Gran, associate socially with notorious communists like FMD? I throw this out as just one example of the… Read more »
Odd that Goldberg, of all people, should miss this. He is — or, I guess, was — one of the few talking heads who acknowledged that politicians are people, often very strange and dysfunctional people. He was great, for instance, at pointing out what a deeply weird guy Al Gore is. I thought he’d have a field day with Obama, since all you have to do is look at the guy and you can tell he’s seven kinds of screwy. And anyone who has spent a few minutes around Oreos knows that their insecurities are a mile wide and ten… Read more »
Christopher S. Johns
And, confirming your worst fears, the pajama boys at Vox, have been talking with 0bama’s national security “inner circle” in the wake of the Paris massacre. Their conclusion, not surprisingly, is that in the wake of a similar massacre in the US there’s really nothing that they can do: “What do you do when the moral and emotional stakes of an attack seem to call for war but there is no war that can be constructively fought? That’s a question Barack Obama’s national security advisers have grappled with for months, if not years, as I understand from conversations with them… Read more »
Buckaroo Banzai
Are we really sure that 0bama isn’t religious? He really seems to actively dislike Middle Eastern Christians and Jews. When has he ever said a single kind word about them? Similarly, can you name a single action the administration has taken that has helped them in the slightest? His pro-Muslim sympathies, on the other hand, are well-documented– even though everyone seems to pretend they don’t exist. He’s at least nominally Christian, which would imply that at worst he’d be a completely neutral party and should be sympathetic to all sides equally. But since he entered public life, his words and… Read more »

Jonah Goldberg is an anti-French jerk. Who cares about anything he has to say?